Hassell has announced UTS’ Nathan Galluzo is the winner of the 2022 Hassell Travelling Scholarship – Robin Edmond Award, which recognises graduating landscape architecture students who show outstanding potential.

21 students were nominated for the scholarship across eight Australian universities. A diverse range of projects were submitted, which covered a broad spectrum of topics, issues, and themes currently challenging and confronting the profession.

Nathan’s winning proposal, titled Drawing Landscape Narrative, was a response to the 2019 flooding that occurred in the sacred place of the Arakwal people of the Bunjalung nation, Byron Bay. Following pressure from residents, local Council artificially opened the mouth of Tallow Creek which led to thousands of living organisms including mullet, bream, whiting, flathead and eels perishing.

The following year, Galluzo explored Indigenous knowledge, local stories and climate impacts through a unique communication process of film and collaborative drawing that was place-specific. He developed a cyclical and iterative process that provided a deeper understanding of relationality through learning about the layering of knowledge, experiences, and discussions. As a result, the budding architect was able to communicate how landscape architects utilise drawing to outline complex relationships that exist between stakeholders and the land.

“Nathan approached Council to learn more about Tallow Creek as part of his masters, but we have ended up learning so much from him through his deep examination of this place and its history and connection to Country. Nathan's work has exposed a deeper level of understanding of Tallow Creek providing insights into ecosystem dynamics activated by his drawing process and research methods,” says Byron Shire Council's Coast, Biodiversity and Sustainability Coordinator Chloe Dowsett.

Galluzo explains his process was about being a mediator between community and the land.

“Over many months, I acted as a visual translator and created a reflective and meditative practice, where aspects of time are transcended through drawings that connect stories with moments in the environment as well as communicate unconscious and intangible values, personal relationships with place, oral narratives, spiritual beliefs and past research.

“The scholarship win is a great opportunity to continue my passion and to extend the masters out and challenge how we could better integrate the teachings from Indigenous culture in policy and other modes that strengthen a considered and holistic view about our landscapes and our connection to landscape.”

Hassell Principal Sharon Wright says the calibre of projects for 2022 were of the highest quality. 

“During the judging process for this year’s awards, we were impressed by the often deeply personal connection to the projects, sites and issues and the passionate commitment demonstrated to exploring complex challenges and finding innovative design propositions,” she says.

“Nathan’s winning submission was no exception. We were impressed with his highly original process that was shaped and guided by his exquisite drawing style. The project's scope and timeframe were ambitious, and its process and outcomes are a powerful example of what can be achieved by slowing a project down, by listening and by being hyper site-specific.”